What a week it has been with 7 of our camps submitting spectacular photographs for our edition of Week in Pictures. We start in the Greater Kruger, where lodges in the Sabi Sand, Klaserie, and the Balule Nature Reserves have had unbelievable luck with predator sightings, as well as those loveable elephants and their babies. Birdlife is magnificent, and the presence of giraffe, kudu, zebra, and the rutting impala is astonishing. The changing season from the wet summer to the dry winter is seeing the gathering of animals at waterholes, as they drink up the last of the surface water. This has brought about some predator action with lions making easy kills of a baby buffalo at Umkumbe Safari Lodge, and the Ezulwini lions doing the same thing in the Balule.
Unknown Kruger male lions that have been in and out of the Sabi Sand tracked down a baby buffalo and succeeded in killing it recently. Despite the mother buffalo coming back to try and rescue her baby, these two lions were no match even for a buffalo cow with a youngster to protect. Nature is tough, but this is real Africa. On a lighter note, a lone male cheetah walked through the reserve and marked his territory, while baby elephants got up to mischief.
One of the 4 prides of lions that are seen between Ezulwini Billy’s Lodge and River Lodge was seen on a buffalo kill during the last week, while the local big tusker, affectionately known as ‘Ezulwini’, made his rounds at the lodge. An enormous elephant bull sporting these mighty tusks is a wonderful sight in the Kruger.
The local boys, known as the Trilogy lion coalition, were spotted early in the week, lazing about their territory and looking rather photogenic, which was a delight for lion-hungry guests. Then, later in the week the 2 Ross Pride breakaway lionesses were seen looking rather satiated! Then, for the bird fans, we spotted a bearded woodpecker looking glam in a tree.
Baby elephants, big elephants, and elephant-like hippos in the dam; this week has been chock-a-block with sightings of these pachyderms, and they just never get old. Sharing lion sightings with Africa on Foot, and spending some alone time with the playful, full-of-attitude mini tuskers, our guests have seen every side to a wonderful safari in the Klaserie.
The week at nDzuti has been a busy one with some of the ever-present general game and epic birdlife, plus, one wonderful sighting of a leopard stalking an impala, as well as some lioncubs-in-the-making! The nDzuti dam is a favourite spot of the hippos, and this week we were treated to a sighting of one very young hippo giving us his best show of teeth. A
Up in Botswana, the Okavango Delta is experiencing its high water season as the waters from the rivers up north have sifted through into the Delta’s alluvial fan. Alternatively, the Savuti Channel in Chobe is drying up, which means that the famous Savute Marsh is also dry. There are waterholes and pans, which are saved by borehole water, and the animals are certainly making the most of this!
The waterholes are busy with animal activity – many elephants, hundreds and thousands of zebra, and a lot of lion activity! During the week, the Marsh Pride killed a buffalo near Marabou Pan, while another 2 male lions joined forces with their 2 lionesses and 3 cubs. A fantastic sight of the 2 males contact-calling early in the morning might have been our favourite highlight, but we can’t help but appreciate the small things too!
It’s all about that Delta landscape. The palm trees are unmistakable signs of the Okavango Delta, and the marching zebras and wildebeest create a scene we know all too well. Afrika Ecco are taking their guests on water-bound adventures through the Delta at this time of year, but visions of the wild horses in their striped pyjamas are still a firm favourite!